Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Bee Inspired

At the beginning of the year, I figured I would start some kind of "school" schedule or maybe a unit study habit, and that never really took off. I do agree with most who say that the only thing that's important at this age is a) books, and b) play. So for the first quarter of 2019, it's just been dance class, swim class, and a lot of trips to the Science Center and MOBOT to play with kids. I also cut way back on tablet/screen time because as long as that isn't an option, her imaginative play will occupy her all day long.

In the past couple weeks we've started to fall into more of a pattern, and while I'm still trying to avoid being Nathan (Rick Moranis) from the movie Parenthood, this kid is UNSTOPPABLE when it comes to books. At the end of a day of "benign neglect", I'm usually surrounded by books on the couch. She has memorized most of the Elephant & Piggie books that we own, and is working on the UBAM phonics box set. She "reads" those books every day.

She has also started asking a LOT more questions and showing interest in particular topics (she even sat through Disney College of Knowledge assessment with me today and says she wants to be a VIP tour guide when she "gets big".) And we are working on numbers 11-100. Uncle! I guess she is ready for Pre-K. So this week I am semi-reluctantly dipping my toe into a unit study. We're following along with the Kid Kit/Naturally Crated Bee Inspired challenge, which has a bingo board and weekly activities. I figure that with out regular classes and activities outside of the house, for the time being Tuesday & Friday will be at home school days. Dad is in charge of collecting up the books for our unit studies, because her book obsession is definitely a result of his consistent bedtime story routine.

Here's the beginnings of our Bee Inspired challenge! Our Bee Bingo board, the Bee Pledge, a bee we made at Little Sprouts class last year, a bee Paint By Sticker, and by total coincidence, a dandelion printable I had ready for today. We learned that dandelions are the bee's first food in the springtime, so leave them be(e)!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Reduce Your Use of Plastics

Over the past year, I've had one thought every time I throw plastic in the trash. "That _____ is going to be in a landfill FOREVER," I think. When you realize you're saying that about something every day, and then you hear a lot of municipalities are shutting down single stream recycling because China doesn't want our lazy, contaminated recyclables, and also take the time to think about how all that plastic is a petroleum product in the first place, well, it's time to look for better options. We've cut back on plastic in a major way this past year, and friends have asked for a list of our changes. Here you go! (Note, this blog does contain some referral links for which I am compensated if you make a purchase.)

#1 - No more disposable Swiffers. Yes, Swiffer dusters are great for pet hair. I really, really dislike using a broom for hair because it gets all tangled up and is just gross. But those disposable Swiffers are made of polyester (a coal and petroleum product) and are not biodegradable. I started crocheting a cotton version that works great!

#2 - We replaced shampoo bottles with Lush shampoo bars. The problem with bottled bath products is that you never quite get all the product out, and you could spend half an hour trying to rinse one out to recycle. So wasteful! Shampoo bars work every bit as good as liquid shampoo, last forever, and there is no waste at all. You buy it just like this in a paper bag at Lush (and they have metal, rust proof containers for storage).